Bristol City already know answer to £25m Wolves transfer dilemma
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Reports from Football Insider on Wednesday morning claim that Wolves are 'close to a deal' and are 'closing in' on the signing of Scott, after a few failed attempts this month.. A bid of £22m was rejected recently, but he is one of their key targets, and now they are apparently getting ever closer to the £25m valuation that owner Steve Lansdown was quoted on back in April.
If Wolves do meet the £25m fee, whether it be up-front, instalments or add-ons, it is likely to be a club record fee, which would beat the £20m transfer fee paid by Brighton for Adam Webster back in 2019, and it begs the question whether that would be be reinvested back into the squad.
Speaking in an interview with BBC Radio Bristol in April, Lansdown was asked something along those lines, and he responded by saying: "What football makes, football can spend. But it's got to make it and obviously going back to Covid, football couldn't make anything.
"There isn't a debt to be paid but we need to get the balance between the income and expenditure, all businesses need to do that."
From Lansdown’s comments back in April, it’s hinted that whilst money would be made available to the playing squad, there would also be some consideration into the off-the-field side of things. He has bankrolled for the club for a considerable period, but for the last few years has run the club at a loss because of COVID-19, and in their latest reports
A fee of £25m is a considerable amount of money, and already this year the club have been one big sale after selling Antoine Semenyo to AFC Bournemouth in January. Semenyo's sale allowed City to do some transfer business both in January and in the summer, and three of the four signings that have arrived over the last few months have had transfer fees paid for them, which hints that they were funded from their business with the Cherries.
The loss of Scott however would be a big blow to Nigel Pearson, who is trying to assemble a team that is capable of challenging for the play-offs. His side finished 10 points off of sixth last year, and for the last two-and-half-years, his job has been to reduce the wage bill, remain competitive but also build a team for the future that can achieve their goal of top-flight football. The 59-year-old and his staff must earn praise for giving him such a role in the first-team and unearthing a gem, which can help make their finances a slightly bit healthier.
“In all honesty, if they do, I don't worry about it,” said Pearson at the end of June when he was asked about the prospect of Scott leaving Ashton Gate.
“I’m a football manager, that’s up to the powers that be here to make that decision as to whether it’s an acceptable deal or not. Even then I think our owners are very keen for us to try and keep our best players because if we have a successful season and get promoted, we’ve got a much better chance of keeping our best players.
“I don’t wake up every day thinking about things like that. For me, all I need to know is when something happens. Apart from that, he’s our player and he’s here."
Another point Pearson made was that you have to have a 'flexible mindset' but also be clear as to who you bring in. He was quick to state that any new arrival, which turned out to be Jason Knight wouldn't be a replacement for Alex Scott, but should the 'Guernsey Grealish' depart then perhaps there would be a desire to push him forward. The 22-year-old started alongside Matty James against Swindon Town with Scott further forward, and so if Scott does leave, then Pearson might then source a replacement for Scott.
He has an ageing midfield, and whilst the likes of James and Andy King have their benefits, any money from a potential Scott sale would be with an eye on looking to buy the best young British talent the Championship and League One has to offer, with signings like Knight to follow. If we take how the club gave money to Pearson after Semenyo's sale, it is likely he will be allowed to invest it back into the squad, but don't go and expect the club to go and break any transfer records, because that could potentially undo the whole remit of Pearson's job for the last two-and-a-half-years.